As Steven Gerrard and Brendan Rodgers go head to head next month, how vital is victory at Parkhead?

It all comes down to ambition. Rangers sit ahead of Celtic in the table after game two, so why shouldn’t they reach for the stars?

The Hoops have already shown they’re anything but invincible after their 1-0 defeat at Hearts. There’s not the same levels of respect from opposition sides against Rodgers’ men now. Rangers need to take the same approach when they visit Parkhead on September 2nd.

There remains a snobby nature to Celtic fans when it comes to a title challenge. Even the suggestion of a Rangers challenge seems to make the Parkhead faithful’s stomachs churn. It’s the one thing that Hoops fans really don’t want to accept.

Liverpool Training Session
Brendan Rodgers and Steven Gerrard go head-to-head next month (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

All of this will change if Rangers can win in the East End of Glasgow next month. This is what makes the contest so vital as Gerrard and Rodgers meet for the first time in the dugout.

Rodgers has had his grip on Glasgow over the last two years. Unchallenged, the Celtic manager has swept all before him. It’s led to an arrogance from the Celtic support about their place in comparison to Rangers.

There can be no doubt that the Gers have been craving that elusive win against the Parkhead side for some time. Since coming up into the Premiership, Rangers have failed to get the better of their rivals in the last 11 meetings between the sides.

However, you would be kidding on if you said that next month didn’t have a different feel to it. With Celtic steeped in internal chaos, Rangers are going from one positive to another.

Rangers v Celtic
Allan McGregor has been heroic against Celtic in the past (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Rangers will arrive at Parkhead with a massively improved back-line. Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic have mightily impressed in front of the composed Allan McGregor.

Ahead of them, Rangers have as strong a midfield as they’ve had for years. Ryan Jack and Lassana Coulibaly will surely ensure Scott Brown doesn’t have the run of the place once more. Brown has been the king of Old Firm games for the last two years, but he has his work cut out for him with the new Gers recruits.

Celtic have put in a new surface that apparently helps quick, passing football. Fortunately though, the Hoops aren’t playing it. If Rangers can keep the ball as well as well as they have done in Europe, there’s no reason they can’t use that pitch to their advantage.

It’ll be a huge task when Rangers pitch up at Parkhead, but there’s a strong sense a challenge is on the horizon.

Celtic fans can scoff at it all they want, but reality could be about to hit them in the face in two weeks’ time.

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